The History of Apollonius King of Tyre
(259>) Antiochus, the king of Antioch, from whom the city takes its name, had a daughter of such uncommon beauty, that when she came of marriageable years, she was sought after with the greatest eagerness. But on whom to bestow her was a source of much anxiety to the king; and, from frequently contemplating the exquisite loveliness of her face, the delicacy of her form, and the excellence of her disposition, he began to love her with more than a father's love. He burned with an unhallowed flame, and would have excited a simultaneous feeling in his daughter. She, however, courageously persevered in the path of duty, until at length violence accomplished what persuasion had in vain struggled to effect. Thus situated, she gave a loose to her tears, and wept in an agony of the bitterest sorrow. At this moment her nurse entered, and asked the occasion of her uneasiness; she replied, “Alas, my beloved nurse, two noble names have just perished.” “Dear lady,” returned the other, “why do you say so?” She told her. “And what accursed demon has been busy?” asked the nurse. “Where,” replied the lady, “where is my father? I have no father; in me that sacred name has perished. But death is a remedy for all, and I will die.” The nurse, alarmed at what she heard, soothed her into a less desperate mood, and engaged her word not to seek so fearful a relief. (260>)
In the mean time the impious parent, assuming the specious garb of hypocrisy, exhibited to the citizens the fair example of an honest life. In secret he exulted at the success of his iniquity, and reflected upon the best means of freeing his unhappy daughter from the numerous suitors who honourably desired her hand. To effect this, he devised a new scheme of wickedness. He proposed certain questions, and annexed to them a condition, by which whosoever furnished an appropriate answer should espouse the lady; but failing, should be instantly decapitated. A multitude of crowned heads from every quarter, attracted by her unmatchable beauty, presented themselves; but they were all put to death. For, if any one chanced to develop the horrid secret, he was slain equally with him who failed, in order to prevent its being divulged. Then the head of the victim blackened upon the gate. The suitors, therefore, naturally grew less; for, perceiving so many ghastly countenances peering above them, their courage quailed, and they returned hastily to their several homes.
Now all this was done that he who had produced this scene of wickedness might continue in uninterrupted possession. After a short time, the young prince of Tyre, named Apollonius, well-lettered and rich, sailing along the coast, disembarked and entered Antioch. Approaching the royal presence, he said, “Hail, oh king! I seek thy daughter in marriage.” The king unwillingly heard him communicate his wishes, and fixing an earnest look upon the young man, said, “Dost thou know the conditions?” “I do," answered he boldly, “and find ample confirmation at your gates.” The king, enraged at his firmness, returned, “Hear, then, the question — ‘I am transported with wickedness; I live upon my mother's flesh. I seek my brother, and find him not in the offspring of my (261>) mother.’ ” The youth received the question, and went from the presence of the king; and after duly considering the matter, by the good providence of God, discovered a solution. He immediately returned, and addressing the incestuous wretch, said, “Thou hast proposed a question, oh king! attend my answer. Thou hast said, ‘I am transported with wickedness,’ and thou hast not lied: look into thy heart. ‘I live upon my mother's flesh,’ — look upon thy daughter." The king, hearing this explication of the riddle, and fearing the discovery of his enormities, regarded him with a wrathful eye. “Young man,” said he, “thou art far from the truth, and deservest death; but I will yet allow thee the space of thirty days. Recollect thyself. In the meanwhile, return to thy own country: if thou findest a solution to the enigma, thou shalt marry my daughter; if not, thou shalt die.” The youth, much disturbed, called his company together, and hastening on board his own vessel, immediately set sail.
No sooner had he departed, than the king sent for his steward, whose name was Taliarchus, and spoke to him in this manner: “Taliarchus, you are the most faithful repository of my secrets; you know, therefore, that the boy Apollonius of Tyre has found out my riddle. Pursue (262>) him instantly to Tyre, and destroy him either with the sword or with poison. When you return, you shall receive a liberal recompense.” Taliarchus, arming himself, and providing a sum of money, sailed into the country of the young man.
When Apollonius reached his own home, he opened his coffers, and searched a variety of books upon the subject in question, but he still adhered to the same idea. “Unless I am much deceived,” said he to himself, “King Antiochus entertains an impious love for his daughter.” And continuing his reflections, he went on, “What art thou about, Apollonius? thou hast resolved his problem, and still he has not given thee his daughter. Therefore, God will not have thee die." Commanding his ships to be got ready, and laden with a hundred thousand measures of corn, and a great weight of gold and silver, with many changes of garments, he hastily embarked during the night, in company with a few faithful followers. They put to sea immediately; and much wonder and regret arose the next day among the citizens respecting him. For he was greatly beloved amongst them; and such was their sorrow, that the barbers, for a length of time, lost all their occupation; public spectacles were forbidden; the baths were closed, and no one entered either the temples or tabernacles.
While these things were going on, Taliarchus, who had been despatched by Antiochus to destroy the prince, observing every house shut up, and the signs of mourning general, asked a boy the occasion of it. “Sir,” replied he, "are you ignorant of this matter, that you ask me? Understand, then, that Apollonius, prince of this country, having returned from a visit to King Antiochus, is nowhere to be found.” Much rejoiced at what he heard, Taliarchus returned to his vessel, and sailed back again to (263>) his own country. Presenting himself to the king, he exclaimed, “Be happy, my lord; Apollonius, through dread of you, is not to be found anywhere.” “He has fled,” returned the king; “but long he shall not escape me.” And he immediately put forth an edict to this effect: “Whosoever brings before me the traitor Apollonius shall receive fifty talents of gold; but whosoever presents me with his head shall be rewarded with a hundred.” This tempting proposal stimulated not only his enemies, but his pretended friends, to follow him, and many dedicated their time and activity to the pursuit. They traversed sea and land, near and remote countries, but he fortunately escaped their search. The malicious king fitted out a navy for the same purpose, and commanded them to proceed with the utmost diligence in their employment.
Apollonius, however, arrived safely at Tharsus, and walking along the shore, he was distinguished by a certain slave of his own household, called Elinatus; who happened that very hour to have reached it. Approaching, he made obeisance to the prince, and Apollonius, recognizing him, returned his salute as great men are wont to do; for he thought him contemptible. The old man, indignant at his reception, again saluted him, “Hail, King Apollonius! Return my salute, and despise not poverty, if it be ornamented by honest deeds. Did you know what I know, you would be cautious.” “May it please you to tell me what you know?” answered the prince. “You are proscribed,” returned the other. (264>)
“And who shall dare proscribe a prince in his own land?” “Antiochus has done it.” “Antiochus! For what cause?” “Because you sought to be what the father of his daughter is." “And what is the price of my proscription?” “He who shall take you alive is to receive fifty talents of gold; but for your head he will have a hundred. And therefore I caution you to be upon your guard.”
Saying this, Elinatus went his way. Apollonius recalled him, and proffered the hundred talents of gold which had been set upon his head. “Take,” said he, “so much of my poverty; thou hast merited it: cut off my head, and gratify the malicious king. You possess the sum, and still you are innocent. I engage you, therefore, of my own free will, to do so great a pleasure to him who seeks my destruction.” “My lord,” answered the old man, “far be it from me to take away your life for hire; the friendship of good men is of more value, and cannot be bought.” Then, returning thanks to the prince for his munificence, he departed. But as Apollonius tarried on the shore, he perceived a person named Stranguilio approaching him with a sorrowful aspect, and every now and then uttering a deep lament. “Hail, Stranguilio!” said the prince. “Hail, my lord the king,” was his reply. “You appear concerned; tell me what occasions it?”
“To say truth,” returned Apollonius, “it is because I have required the daughter of a king in marriage. Can I conceal myself in your country?” “My lord,” answered Stranguilio, “our city is extremely poor, and cannot sustain your attendants, in consequence of a grievous famine which has wasted the land. Our citizens are hopeless and helpless; and death, with all its accompanying horrors, is before our eyes.” “Give thanks to God,” replied Apollonius, “who hath driven me a fugitive to your shores. If you will conceal my flight, I will present to you a hundred thousand measures of corn.” Full of joy, Stranguilio prostrated himself at the feet of the prince, and exclaimed, “My lord, if you will assist our starving city we will not only conceal your flight, but, if necessary, unsheath our (265>) swords in your defence.” Apollonius, therefore, hastened into the forum, and ascending the tribunal, spoke thus to the assembled population: “Men of Tharsus, understanding that an afflicting dearth of provisions troubles you, I, Apollonius, proffer aid. I believe that you will not forget the benefit I render you, but conceal my flight from those who unjustly pursue me. Ye know what the malice of Antiochus aims at, and by what providence I am brought hither to relieve you in this terrible emergency. I present to you a hundred thousand measures of corn at the price I gave for it in iny own country — that is, at eight pieces for each measure.” The citizens, delighted at what they heard, gave thanks to God, and immediately prepared the corn for use.
But Apollonius, not forgetting the dignity of a king in the traffic of a merchant, returned the purchase-money to the state; and the people, struck with wonder at this unexpected instance of generosity, erected in the forum a chariot drawn by four horses, running side by side. In the car was a statue, representing Apollonius with his right hand rubbing the corn from the ear. His left foot trampled upon it; and on the pediment they placed the following inscription: — “Apollonius, Prince of Tyre, by a gift to the city of Tarsus, preserved its inhabitants from a cruel death.” A few days afterwards, by the advice of Stranguilio and his wife Dionysias, the prince determined to sail for Pentapolis, a city of the Tyrrheni, (266>) where he might remain in greater tranquillity and opulence. They brought him, therefore, with much ceremony to the sea-shore; and then bidding his hosts farewell, he embarked. For three days and nights he sailed with favourable winds; but after losing sight of the Tharsian coast, they veered round, and blew from the north with great violence. The rain fell in heavy showers, mixed with hail; and the ship was carried away by the fury of the storm. Dark clouds brooded over them; and the blast, still increasing, threatened them with immediate death. The crew, imagining all was lost, caught hold of planks, and committed themselves to the mercy of the waves. In the extreme darkness that followed, all perished. But Apollonius, riding on a plank, was cast upon the Pentapolitan shore; on which, after quitting the water, he stood thoughtfully, and fixing his eyes upon the ocean, now in a calm, exclaimed, “Oh, ye faithless waves! better had I fallen into the hands of that savage king! — to whom shall I now go? What country shall I seek? Who will afford succour to an unknown and helpless stranger?” As he spoke this, he beheld a young man coming towards him. He was a robust, hard-favoured fisherman, clad in a coarse frock. Apollonius, driven by his distresses, humbly besought this man's assistance, even with tears starting from his eyes. “Pity (267>) me,” said he, “whosoever thou art; pity a man stripped of all by shipwreck —- one to whom better days have been familiar, and who is descended from no ignoble family. But that you may know whom you succour, understand that I am a prince of Tyre, and that my name is Apollonius. Save, then, my life, I entreat you.” The fisherman, compassionating his sufferings, brought him to his own roof, and placed such as he had before him. And that there might be no deficiency in the charitable part he was acting, he divided his cloak, and gave one half to the stranger; “Take,” said the benevolent man, “take what I can give, and go into the city; there, perhaps, you will find one with more power to serve you than I am. If you are unsuccessful in your search, return hither to me. What poverty can provide you shall share. Yet, should you hereafter be restored to your throne, do not forget or despise the coarse, threadbare cloak of the poor fisherman.” “Fear not,” said Apollonius; “should I prove ungrateful may I be shipwrecked again, nor find in my extremity a man like yourself.” As he spoke, the fisherman pointed out the way to the city gates, which Apollonius shortly entered.
Whilst he reflected upon the path he should pursue, he beheld a naked boy running along the street, having his head anointed with oil, and bound with a napkin. The youth lustily vociferated, “Hear, hear, pilgrims or slaves; whosoever would be washed, let him haste to the gymnasium.” Apollonius, according to the proclamation, entered the bath, and pulling off his cloak, made use of the water. Whilst he was doing this, he cast his eyes around to discover someone of an equality with himself; and at last Altistrates, king of all that country, entered with a troop of his attendants. The king played with (268>) them at tennis; and Apollonius running forward, caught up the ball, and striking it with inconceivable skill and rapidity, returned it to the royal player. The king, motioning to his servants, said, “Give up your sport, give up your sport; for I suspect this youth is as good a player as I am.” Apollonius, flattered by this praise, approached the king, and catching up an unguent, with a dexterous hand anointed the king's body. Then, having gratefully administered a bath, he departed. After he was gone, “I swear to you,” said his majesty to his surrounding friends, “that I have never bathed so agreeably as I have done to-day by the kindness of a youth whom I do not know. Go," added he, to one of the (269>) attendants, “Go, and inquire who he is.” He followed accordingly, and beheld him equipped in the mean cloak received from the fisherman. Returning to the king, he said, “The youth is one who has suffered shipwreck.” “How do you know!” replied he. “The man said nothing,” answered the servant, “but his dress pointed out his circumstances.” “Go quickly,” returned the king, “and say that I entreat him to sup with me.” Apollonius was content, and accompanied the servant back. The latter, approaching the sovereign, stated the return of the shipwrecked person, but that, ashamed of his mean habit, he was unwilling to enter. The king instantly gave command that he should be clothed in honourable apparel, and introduced to the supper-room.
Apollonius, therefore, entered the royal drawing-room, and was placed opposite to the king. Dinner was brought, and then supper. He feasted not, however, with the feasters, but continually cast his eye upon the gold and silver ornaments of the table, and wept. One of the guests observing this, said to the king, “He envies your regal magnificence, unless I am much deceived.” “You suspect unhappily,” answered he; “he does not envy me, but laments somewhat that he has lost.” Then, turning to Apollonius, with a smiling countenance he said, “Young man, feast with us to-day, and hope that God has better things in store for you.” As he thus endeavoured to raise the drooping spirits of the youth, his daughter, a beautiful girl, entered, and first kissed her father, and then those who were his guests. When she had gone through this ceremony, she returned to the king, and said, “My dear father, who is that young man reclining opposite to you in the place of honour, and whose grief appears so (270>)excessive?” “Sweet daughter,” answered he, “that is a shipwrecked youth, who pleased me today in the gymnasium; therefore I invited him to supper; but who he is I know not. If you wish to ascertain this, ask him — it becomes you to know all things; and perhaps, when you are made acquainted with his sorrows, you may compassionate and relieve them.” The girl, happy in the permission, approached the young man, and said, “Good friend, kindness proves nobility: if it be not troublesome, tell me your name and fortunes.” “Would you inquire my name?” replied he, “I lost it in the sea; or my nobility? I left it in Tyre.” “Speak intelligibly,” said the girl; and Apollonius then related his name and adventures. When he had made an end he wept, and the king, perceiving his tears, said to his daughter, “My dear child, you did ill to inquire the name and occurrences of the young man's life. You have renewed his past griefs. But since he has revealed the truth, it is right that you should show the liberty you enjoy as queen.” The lady complied with the wishes of her father, and looking upon the youth, exclaimed, “You are our knight, (271>) Apollonius! Put away your afflictions, and my father will make you rich.” Apollonius thanked her with modesty and lamentation. Then said the king [to his daughter], “Bring hither your lyre, and add song to the banquet.” She commanded the instrument to be brought, and began to touch it with infinite sweetness. Applause followed the performance. “There never was,” said the courtiers, “a better or a sweeter song.” Apollonius alone was silent, and his want of politeness drew from the king a remark. “You do an unhandsome thing. Everybody else extols my daughter's musical skill; why then do you only discommend it?” “Most gracious king,” replied he, “permit me to say what I think. Your daughter comes near to musical pre-eminence, but has not yet attained it. Command, therefore, a lyre to be given me, and you shall then know what you are now ignorant of.” “I perceive,” observed the king, “that you are universally learned,” and directed a lyre to be presented to him. Apollonius retired for a few moments, and decorated his head; then, re-entering the dining-room, he took the instrument, and struck it so gracefully and delightfully that they unanimously agreed that it was the harmony not of Apollonius, but of Apollo.
The guests positively asserted that they never heard or saw anything better; and the daughter, regarding the youth with fixed attention, grew suddenly and violently enamoured. “Oh, my father,” cried she, “let me reward him as I think fit.” The king assented; and she, looking (272>) tenderly upon the youth, said, “Sir Apollonius, receive out of my royal father's munificence two hundred talents of gold and four hundred pounds of silver, a rich garment, twenty men-servants, and ten handmaids;” then, turning to the attendants present, she continued, “Bring what I have promised.” Her commands were obeyed; and the guests then rising, received permission to depart.
When they were gone, Apollonius also arose, and said, “Excellent king, pitier of the distressed! and you, O queen, lover of study and friend of philosophy, fare ye well.” Then addressing the servants bestowed upon him, he commanded them to bear away the presents he had received to an hostelry; but the girl, who became apprehensive of losing her lover, looked sorrowfully at her parent, and said, “Best king and father, does it please you that Apollonius, whom we have so lately enriched, should leave us? The goods we have given him will be purloined by wicked men.” The king admitted this, and assigned him apartments in the palace, where he lived in great honour.
But the lady's affection so much increased, that it deprived her of all rest; and in the morning she hastened to the bedside of her father. Surprised at the early visit, he inquired what had roused her at so unusual an hour. “I have been unable to sleep,” answered the lady; “and I wish you to permit me to receive instructions in music from the young stranger.” The king, pleased with his daughter's zeal for improvement, cheerfully assented, and commanded the youth to be brought into his presence. “'Apollonius,” said he, “my daughter is extremely desirous of learning your science; if you will instruct her, I will reward you abundantly.” “My lord,” he answered, “I am ready to comply with your wishes;” and, accordingly, the girl was placed under his tuition. But her love preyed upon her health, and she visibly declined. Physicians were called in, and they had recourse to the usual (273) expedients; but the diagnostics led them to no certain conclusion. They were much puzzled with her case, and pronounced learnedly, but unhappily about it.
In a few days three young noblemen, who had long desired to espouse the lady, presented themselves before the king, and besought his favour. “You have often promised us,” said they, “that one or the other should marry your daughter. We are rich, and of noble lineage: choose, then, which of us shall be your son-in-law.” “You come,” replied the king, “at an unseasonable time. My daughter is unable to follow her usual pursuits, and for this reason languishes on her bed. But that I may not appear to you unnecessarily to protract your uncertainty, write each of you your names, and the settlement you will make her. She shall examine them, and choose between ye.” The suitors complied, and gave the writings to the king, who read, and sealed, and then despatched Apollonius with them to the lady. As soon as she beheld him whom she loved, she exclaimed, “Sir, how is it that you enter my chamber alone?” He presented the writings which her father had sent, and, having opened them, she read the names and proposals of the three suitors. Casting them aside, she said to Apollonius, “Sir, are you not sorry that I must be married?” “No,” returned he; “whatever is for your honour is pleasant to me.” “Ah! master, master,” continued the girl; “but if you loved me, you would grieve.”
She wrote back her answer, sealed, and delivered it to Apollonius to carry to the king. It ran in these words: “Royal sir and father, since you have permitted me to write my wishes, I do write them. I will espouse him who was shipwrecked.” The king read, but not knowing which of them had been in this predicament, he said to the contending parties, “Which of you has been shipwrecked?" One, whose name was Ardonius, replied, “I have, my lord.” “What!” cried another, “Diseases confound thee! Mayst thou be neither safe nor sound! I know perfectly well that thou hast never been beyond the gates of the city. Where, then, wert thou shipwrecked?” When the king could not discover the shipwrecked suitor, he turned to (274>) Apollonius, and said, “Take thou the tablets and read; perhaps they will be more intelligible to you than they are to me.” He took them, and running his eye over the contents, perceived that he was the person designed, and that the lady loved him. He blushed. “Dost thou discover this shipwrecked person, Apollonius?” asked the king. He blushed still deeper, and made a brief reply. Now, in this the wisdom of Apollonius may be perceived, since, as it is in Eccles. “There is no wisdom in many words.” And in 1 Peter ii., “Christ hath left you an example to be diligently followed, who never sinned, neither was deceit found in His mouth.” The same, also, the Psalmist declares: “As He said, so it was done;” wherefore He was to be called (257>) a true Israelite, in whom there was no guile. And John i., “Therefore let us imitate Him in not cursing, nor rendering malediction for malediction, but reserve the tongue for blessing.” Thus shall it become the pen of a ready writer — that is, of the Holy Spirit, suddenly pouring forth its gifts; according as it is said, “Suddenly a noise was heard in heaven.” So 1 Peter i., “He who would see happy days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips that they speak no guile;” that is, man ought not to murmur within himself, nor act outward evil; so shall he enjoy quietness in this life, and in the future, eternal rest. For the first prevents the outbreaking of reproachful words to the injury of his neighbours; and it is the beginning of eternal peace. So the Psalmist: “I will sleep and repose in peace.” For as the tongue of a good and quiet man is directed by the power of God; so the tongue of a malicious person is ministered unto by evil spirits. As it is written, “In our garden grows a white thorn, upon which the birds rest.” By this garden we should understand the mouth, surrounded by a double hedge — to wit, the teeth and the lips — for no other cause than that we may place a guard upon the mouth, and speak nothing but what is in praise of God. The thorn in the garden is the tongue itself, so called from its likeness; because, as the material thorn pricks (St. Matt. xxviii.: “Twining a crown of thorns, they placed it upon His head, and the blood flowed down His blessed body in consequence of the puncture of the (275>) thorns,"), thus the thorn, that is the tongue, pierces a man - one while by taking away his good sense; at another, by falsehood; and then, again, by discovering the evil that there is in any person: all which onght carefully to be shunned. But the birds resting upon the thorn are the devils, who incline man to vice, so that he becomes their servant. Therefore they will exclaim, in the last day, “Cast this man to us, O righteous judge! for since he would not be thine in all virtue, he is ours in all malice.” Let every one of us keep in his tongue, which Cato declares to be the first virtue.
But to return to our story. When the king became aware of his daughter's inclination, he said to the three lovers, “In due time I will communicate with you.” They bade him farewell and departed. But the king hastened to his daughter. “Whom,” said he, “wouldst thou choose for thy husband?” She prostrated herself before him with tears, and answered, “Dear father, I desire to marry the shipwrecked Apollonius.” His child's tears softened the parent's heart; he raised her up, and said, “My sweet child, think only of thy happiness; since he is thy choice, he shall be mine. I will appoint the day of your nuptials immediately.” The following morning, he sent messengers to the neighbouring cities to invite the nobles. When they arrived, he said, “My lords, my daughter would marry her master. I desire you, therefore, to be merry, for my child will be united to a wise man.” Saying this, he fixed the period of their spousals.
Now, it happened, after she became pregnant, that she walked with her husband, prince Apollonius, by the sea-shore, and a fine ship riding at anchor in the distance, the latter perceived that it was of his own country. Turning to the master of the vessel, he said, “Whence are you?” “From Tyre,” replied the man. “You speak of my own land, my friend.” “Indeed! and are you a Tyrian?” “As you have said.” “Do you know,” continued the master, “a prince of that country, called Apollonius? I seek him; and whenever you happen to see him, bid him exult. King (276>) Antiochus and his daughter, at the very same instant, were blasted with lightning. The kingdom has fallen to Apollonius.” Full of pleasure at the unexpected intelligence he had received, the prince said to his wife, “Will you acquiesce in my setting out to obtain the throne?” The lady instantly burst into tears. “ Oh, my lord,” said she, “the journey is long, and yet you would leave me! If, however, it is necessary that you should go, we will go together.” Instantly hastening to her father, she communicated the happy news which had just been heard, that Antiochus and his daughter, by the just judgment of (277>) an offended God, had been struck with lightning, and the wealth and diadem reserved for her husband. And lastly, she entreated his permission to accompany him. The old king, much exhilarated with the intelligence, was easily prevailed upon to assent; and ships were accordingly prepared for their conveyance. They were laden with everything necessary for the voyage; and a nurse, called Ligoridis, was embarked, and a midwife, in anticipation of the young queen's parturition. Her father accompanied them to the shore, and with an affectionate kiss of each, took his leave.
When they had been at sea some days, there arose a fearful tempest; and the lady, brought by this circumstance into premature labour, to all appearance perished. The moaning and tears of her family almost equalled the storm; and Apollonius, alarmed at the outcry, ran into the apartment, and beheld his lovely wife like an inhabitant of the grave. He tore his garments from his breast, and cast himself with tears and groans upon her inanimate body. “Dear wife!” he exclaimed, “daughter of the great Altistrates, how shall I console thy unhappy parent?” Here the pilot, interrupting him, observed, “Sir, it will prejudice the ship to retain the dead body on board; command that it be cast into the sea.” “Wretch that you are,” returned Apollonius, “would you wish me to hurl this form into the waves, that succoured me shipwrecked and in poverty?” Then calling his attendants, he directed them to prepare a coffin, and smear the lid with bitumen. He also commanded that a leaden scroll should be placed in it, and the body, arrayed in regal habiliments, and crowned, was then deposited in the coffin. He kissed her cold lips, and wept bitterly. Afterwards giving strict charge respecting the new-born infant, he committed all that remained of his wife to the sea.
On the third day the chest was driven by the waves to the shores of Ephesus, not far from the residence of a physician, called Cerimon, who happened at that hour to (278>) be walking with certain of his pupils upon the sands. Observing the chest deserted by the waters, he commanded his servants to secure it with all speed, and convey it to his house: this done, he opened it, and discovered a beautiful girl, attired in royal apparel. Her uncommon loveliness struck all the spectators with astonishment; for she was as a sunbeam of beauty, in which nature had created everything pure and perfect, and failed in nothing but in denying her the attribute of immortality. Her hair glittered like the snow, beneath which a brow of milky whiteness, smooth and unwrinkled as a plain, peacefully rested. Her eyes resembled the changeableness, not the prodigality, of two luminous orbs; for their gaze was directed by an unshaken modesty, which indicated a constant and enduring mind. Her eye-brows were naturally and excellently placed; and her shapely nose, describing a straight line, rose centrically upon the face. It possessed neither too much length nor too little. Her neck was whiter than the solar rays, and ornamented with precious stones; while her countenance, full of unspeakable joy, communicated happiness to all who looked on her. She was exquisitely formed; and the most critical investigation could not discover more or less than there ought to be. Her beautiful arms, like the branches of some fair tree, descended from her well-turned breast; to which, delicately chiselled fingers, not outshone by the lightning, were attached. In short, she was outwardly a perfect model, — flashing through which, the divine spark of soul, her Creator had implanted, might be gloriously distinguished. Works of power ought to (279>) accord with each other: and hence all corporal beauty originates in the soul’s loveliness. It has even been said, that mental excellence, however various, adapts the mass of matter to itself.
Be this as it may, the most perfect adaptation of soul and body existed in this lady, now discovered by Cerimon. “Fair girl,” said he, “how camest thou so utterly forsaken?” The money, which had been placed beneath her head, now attracted his attention, and then the scroll of lead presented itself.
"Let us examine what it contains."
He opened it accordingly, and read as follows:— “Whomsoever thou art that findest this chest, I entreat thy acceptance of ten pieces of gold; the other ten expend, I pray thee, on a funeral. For the corse it shrouds hath left tears and sorrows enough to the authors of her being. If thou dost neglect my request, I imprecate upon thee curses against the day of judgment, and devote thy body to death, unhonoured and uninhumed."
When the physician had read, he directed his servants to comply with the mourner's injunction. “And I solemnly vow,” added he, “to expend more than his sorrow requires.” Immediately he bade them prepare a funeral pile. When this was done, and everything laid in order, a pupil of the physician, a young man, but possessing the wisdom of old age, came to look upon the lady. As he considered her fair form attentively, already laid upon the pile, his preceptor said to him, “You come opportunely; I have expected you this hour. Get a vial of precious ointment, and, in honour of this bright creature, pour it upon the funeral pile.” The youth obeyed, approached the body, and drawing the garments from her breast, poured out the ointment. But accidentally passing his hand over her heart, (280>) he fancied that it beat. The youth was electrified. He touched the veins, and searched if any breath issued from the nostrils. He pressed his lips to hers; and he thought he felt life struggling with death. Calling hastily to the servants, he bade them place torches at each corner of the bier. When they had done this, the blood, which had been coagulated, presently liquefied; and the young man, attentive to the change, exclaimed to his master, “She lives! she lives! - You scarcely credit me; come and see.” As he spoke, he bore the lady to his own chamber. Then heating oil upon his breast, he steeped in it a piece of wool, and laid it upon her body. By these means, the congealed blood being dissolved, the spirit again penetrated to the marrows. Thus, the veins being cleared, her eyes opened, and respiration returned. “What are you?” said she. “Touch me not otherwise than I ought to be touched; for I am the daughter and the wife of a king.” Full of rapture at the sound of her voice, the young man hurried into his master's room, and related what had occurred. “I approve your skill,” returned he, “I magnify your art, and wonder at your prudence. Mark the results of learning, and be not ungrateful to science. Receive now thy reward; for the lady brought much wealth with her.” Cerimon then directed food and clothes to be conveyed to her, and administered the best restoratives. A few days after her recovery, she declared her birth and misfortunes; and the good physician, commiserating her situation, adopted her as his daughter. With tears she solicited (281>) permission to reside among the vestals of Diana; and he placed her with certain female attendants in the magnificent temple of the goddess.
In the mean while Apollonius, guided by the good providence of God, arrived at Tharsus, and disembarking, sought the mansion of Stranguilio and Dionysias. After mutual greetings, he narrated his adventures. “Wretched as I am in the death of a beloved wife, I have yet cause for joy in the existence of this infant. To you I will intrust her; for never, since his offspring has perished, will I again revisit the old Altistrates. But educate my girl with your own daughter Philomatia; and call her after your city, by the name of Tharsia. I would, moreover, pray you to take charge of her nurse, Ligoridis, whose unremitting fidelity deserves a better reward.” With such words, he gave the child up to them, accompanied by large presents of gold and silver, and valuable raiment. He then took an oath that he would neither cut his beard, or hair, or nails, until his daughter were bestowed in marriage. Grieving at the rashness of the vow, Stranguilio took the infant, and promised to educate it with the utmost care; and Apollonius, satisfied with the assurance, went on board his vessel, and sailed to other countries.
While these things were transacting, Tharsia attained her fifth year, and commenced a course of liberal studies with the young Philomatia, her companion. When she was fourteen, returning from school one day, she found her nurse, Ligoridis, taken with a sudden indisposition, and seating herself near the old woman, kindly inquired the cause. “My dear daughter,” replied she, “hear my words, and treasure them in your heart. Whom do you believe to be your father and mother; and which is your native country?” “Tharsus,” returned she, “is the place of my nativity; my father, Stranguilio, and my mother, (282>) Dionysias.” The nurse groaned, and said, “My daughter, listen to me; I will tell you to whom you owe your birth, in order that, when I am dead, you may have some guide for your future actions. Your father is called Apollonius; and your mother's name is Lucina, the daughter of King Altistrates. She died the moment you were born; and Apollonius, adorning her with regal vesture, cast the chest which contained her into the sea. Twenty sestertia of gold were placed beneath her head, and whosoever discovered it was entreated to give her burial. The ship in which your unhappy father sailed, tossed to and fro by the winds which formed your cradle, at last put into this port, where we were hospitably received by Stranguilio and Dionysias, to whom your sire also recommended me. He then made a vow never to clip his beard, or hair, or nails, until you were married. Now, I advise that if, after my death, your present friends would do you an injury, hasten into the forum, and there you will find a statue of your father. Cling to it, and state yourself the daughter of him whose statue that is. The citizens, mindful of the benefits received from him, will avenge your wrong.” “My dear nurse,” answered Tharsia, “you tell me strange things, of which, till now, I was ignorant.” After some further discourse, Ligoridis gave up the ghost. Tharsia attended her obsequies, and lamented her a full year.
After this, she returned to her studies in the schools. Her custom was, on returning, never to eat until she had been to the monument erected in honour of her nurse. She carried with her a flask of wine, and there tarried, invoking the name of her beloved and lamented parents. Whilst she was thus employed, Dionysias, with her daughter Philomatia, passed through the forum; and the citizens, who had caught a glimpse of Tharsia's form, exclaimed, “Happy father of the lovely Tharsia; but as for her companion, she is a shame and a disgrace.” The mother, hearing her daughter vilified, while the stranger was commended, turned away in a madness of fury. She retired to solitary communication with herself. “For fourteen years,” muttered she, “the father has neglected his daughter; he has sent no letters, and certainly he is dead. The nurse is also dead, and there is no one to (283>) oppose me. I will kill her, and deck my own girl with her ornaments.” As she thus thought, her steward, named Theophilus, entered. She called him, and promising a vast reward, desired him to put Tharsia to death. “What hath the maid done?” asked he. “She hath done the very worst things; you ought not therefore to deny me. Do what I command you; if you do it not, you will bring evil on yourself.” “Tell me, lady, how is it to be done?” “Her custom is,” replied Dionysias, “on coming from the schools, not to take food until she has entered her nurse's monument; arm yourself with a dagger, seize her by the hair of the head, and there stab her. Then throw her body into the sea, and come to me; I will give you your liberty, with a large reward.” The steward, taking the weapon, went with much sorrow to the monument. “Alas!” said he, “shall I not deserve liberty except by the sacrifice of a virgin's life?” He entered the monument, where Tharsia, after her occupation in the schools, had as usual retired; the flask of wine was in her hand. The steward attacked the poor girl, and, seizing her by the hair, threw her upon the ground. But as he was on the point of striking, Tharsia cried out, “Oh, Theophilus! what crime have I committed against you, or against any other, that I should die?” “You are innocent,” answered he, “of everything, save possessing a sum of money and certain royal ornaments left you by your father.” “Oh, sir!” said the forsaken orphan, “if I have no hope, yet suffer me to supplicate my Maker before I die.” “Do so,” answered the steward, “and God knows that it is upon (284>) compulsion that I slay thee.” Now, while the girl was engaged in prayer, certain pirates rushed into the monument, expecting to carry off a booty; and observing a young maid prostrated, and a man standing over her in the act to destroy her, they shouted out, “Stop, barbarian! that is our prey, not your victory.” Theophilus, full of terror, fled hastily from the monument and hid himself by the shore.
The pirates carried off the maid to sea; and the steward, returning to his mistress, assured her that he had obeyed her commands. “I advise, you," said he, "to put on a mourning garment, which I also will do, and shed tears for her death. This will deceive the citizens, to whom we will say that she was taken off by a sickness.” When Stranguilio heard what had been done, his grief was sincere and violent. “I will clothe myself in deep mourning,” cried he, “for I too am involved in this fearful enormity. Alas I what can I do? Her father freed our city from a lingering death. Through our means he suffered shipwreck; he lost his property, and underwent the extreme of poverty. Yet we return him evil for good! He entrusted his daughter to our care, and a savage lioness hath devoured her! Blind wretch that I was! Innocent, I grieve. I am bound to a base and venomous serpent." Lifting up his eyes to heaven, he continued, “O God, thou knowest that I am free from the blood of this girl — require her of Dionysias.” Then fixing a stern look upon his wife, “Enemy of God, and disgrace of man, thou hast destroyed the daughter of a king.”
Dionysias made much apparent lamentation: she put her household into mourning, and wept bitterly before the citizens. “My good friends,” said she, “the hope of our eyes, the beloved Tharsia, is gone - she is dead. Our tears shall bedew the marble which we have raised to her memory.” The people then hastened to the place where her form, moulded in brass, had been erected, in gratitude for the benefits conferred upon that city by her father. (285>)
The pirates transported the maid to Machilenta, where she was placed among other slaves for sale. A most wretched and debauched pimp, hearing of her perfections, endeavoured to buy her. But Athanagoras, prince of that city, observing her lofty port, her beautiful countenance, and wise conduct, offered ten golden sestertia. Leno. I will give twenty. Athanag. And I, thirty. Leno. Forty. Athanag. Fifty. Leno. Eighty. Athanag. Ninety. Leno. I will give a hundred sestertia in ready money; if anyone offer more, I will give ten gold sestertia above.
“Why should I contend any farther with this pimp?” thought Athanagoras. “I may purchase a dozen for the price she will cost him. Let him have her; and by and by I will enter covertly his dwelling and solicit her love.”
Tharsia was conducted by the pimp to a house of ill fame, in an apartment of which there was a golden Priapus, richly ornamented with gems.
“Girl! worship that image,” said the pimp. Tharsia. I may not worship any such thing. Oh, my lord! are you not a Lapsatenarian. Leno. Why? Tharsia. Because the Lapsateni worship Priapus. Leno. Know you not, wretched girl, that you have entered the house of a greedy pimp ?
Casting herself at his feet, she exclaimed, “Oh, sir! do not dishonour me; be not guilty of such a flagrant outrage.”
Leno. Are you ignorant that with a pimp and the torturer, neither prayers nor tears are available?
He sent for the overseer of the women, and desired him (286>) to array Tharsia in the most splendid apparel, and proclaim around the city the price of her dishonour. The overseer did as he was ordered; and on the third day a crowd of people arrived, preceded by the pimp with music. But Athanagoras came first in a mask, and Tharsia, looking despairingly upon him, threw herself at his feet. “Pity me, my lord; pity me, for the love of heaven. By that heaven I adjure you to save me from dishonour. Hear my story; and knowing from whom I sprung, respect my descent and defend my innocence." She then detailed the whole fortunes of her life; and Athanagoras, confused and penitent, exclaimed, “Alas! and I too have a daughter, whom fate may in like manner afflict. In your misfortunes I may apprehend hers. Here are twenty gold pieces; it is more than your barbarous master exacts from you. Relate your narrative to the next comers, and it will insure your freedom.” Full of gratitude for the generous treatment she experienced, Tharsia returned him thanks, but entreated that her story might not be communicated to others. “To none but my own daughter,” said he, “for it will be replete with moral advantage.” So saying, and shedding some tears over her fallen estate, he departed. As he went out he met a friend, who stopped him and asked how the girl had behaved.” None better,” returned the prince; “but she is very sorrowful.” The youth entered, and she closed the door as on the former occasion. "How much has the prince given you?” asked he. “Forty pieces,” answered the girl.
“Here, then; take the whole pound of gold.” Tharsia took the present, but falling at his feet, explained her situation. Aporiatus (for that was the young man's name) answered, “Rise, lady; we are men. All of us are subject to misfortunes.” He went out, and observing Athanagoras laughing, said to him, “You are a fine fellow! Have you nobody to pledge in tears but me?” Afraid that these words should betray the matter, they gave another turn (287>) to the discourse, and awaited the coming of some other person. Great numbers appeared, but they all returned in tears, having given her sums of money. Tharsia having obtained the sum which the pimp had fixed as the price of her dishonour, presented it to him. “Take care,” said the monster, “that you bring me whatever money is presented to you.” But the next day, understanding that she yet preserved her honour, his rage knew no bounds; and he immediately commissioned the overseer of the women to complete the iniquity. When he appeared, the poor girl's tears flowed in profusion. “Pity me, sir,” she said, falling at his feet; “my misfortunes have created the compassion of others, and surely you will not alone spurn my request. I am the daughter of a king; do not dishonour me.” “This pimp,” replied he, “is avaricious: I know not what I can do.” “Sir,” answered Tharsia, “I have been educated in liberal pursuits. I understand music; if, therefore, you will lead me to the forum, you shall hear my performance. Propose questions to the people, and I will expound them; I have no doubt but I shall receive money enough.” “Well,” said the fellow, “I will do as you would have me.”
Proclamation being made, the people crowded to the forum; and her eloquence and beauty impressed them all. Whatever question they proposed, she lucidly answered; and by these means drew much wealth from the curious citizens. Athanagoras, also, watched over her with much (288>) anxiety — with little less, indeed, than he showed to his only child . He recommended her to the care of the overseer, and bought him to his interest by valuable presents.
Let us now return to Apollonius. After a lapse of fourteen years, he again made his appearance at the house of Stranguilio and Dionysias, in the city of Tharsus: no sooner had the former beheld him, than he strode about like a madman. “Woman,” said he, addressing his wife, “what wilt thou do now? Thou hast said that Apollonius was shipwrecked and dead. Behold, he seeks his daughter; what answer shall we make?” “Foolish man,” returned she, “let us resume our mourning, and have recourse to tears. He will believe that his child died a natural death.” As she said this, Apollonius entered. Observing their funeral habiliments, he asked, “Do you grieve at my return? Those tears, I fear, are not for yourselves, but for me.” “Alas!” replied the woman, “I would to Heaven that another, and not me or my husband, had to detail to you what I must say. Your daughter Tharsia is suddenly dead!" Apollonius trembled through every limb, and then stood fixed as a statue.
“Oh, woman, if my daughter be really as you describe, have her money and clothes also perished?” "Some part of both,” replied Dionysias, “is of course expended; but that you may not hesitate to give faith to our assurances, we will produce testimony in our behalf. The citizens, mindful of your munificence, have raised a brazen monument to her memory, which your own eyes may see.” Apollonius, thus imposed upon, said to his servants, “Go ye to the ship; I will visit the grave of my unhappy child.” There he read the inscription, as we have detailed above, and then, as if imprecating a curse upon his own eyes, he exclaimed in a paroxysm of mental agony, “Hateful, cruel sources of perception, do ye now refuse tears to the memory of my lamented girl.” With expressions like these, he hastened to his ship, and entreated his servants to cast him into the sea; for the world, and all that it contained, had become odious to him.
They set sail for Tyre, and for a time the breezes blew prosperously; but changing, they were driven considerably (289>) out of their course. Guided by the good providence of God, they entered the port of Machilena, where his daughter still abode. The pilot and the rest of the crew shouted loudly on their approach to land, and Apollonius sent to inquire the cause. “My lord,” answered the pilot, “the people of Machilena are engaged in celebrating a birthday.” Apollonius groaned, “All can keep their birthdays except me. But it is enough that I am miserable; I give my attendants ten pieces of gold, and let them enjoy the festival. And whosoever presumes to utter my name, or rejoice in my hearing, command that his legs be immediately broken.” The steward took the necessary sums, and having purchased supplies, returned to the ship. Now, the bark which contained Apollonius being more honourable than the rest, the feast was celebrated there more sumptuously. It happened that Athanagoras, who was enamoured of the fair Tharsia, walked upon the sea-shore near the king's ship. “Friends,” said he to those who accompanied him, “that vessel pleases me.” The sailors with which she was manned, hearing him applaud their vessel, invited him on board. He went accordingly; and laying down ten gold pieces upon the table, observed, “You have not invited me for nothing.” They thanked him; and, in answer to certain questions he had put, informed the prince that their lord was in great affliction, and wished to die: they added, that he had lost a wife and daughter in a foreign country. “I will give you two pieces of gold,” said Athanagoras to Ardalius, one of the servants, “if you will go and say to him that the prince of this city desires a conference.” “Two gold pieces,” answered the person he spoke to, “will not repair my broken legs. I pray you send another; for he has determined thus to punish anyone who approaches him.” “He made this law for you,” returned the prince, “but not, I think, for me: I will descend myself; tell me his name.” They told him — Apollonius. “Apollonius?” said he to himself; “so Tharsia calls her father.” (290>)
He hastened into his presence, and beheld a forlorn and desolate person. His beard was of great length, and his head in the wildest disorder. In a low, subdued tone of voice, he said, “Hail, Apollonius!” Apollonius, supposing it to be one of his own people, fixed on him a furious look, but, seeing an honourable and handsome man, remained silent. “You are doubtless surprised,” said the prince, “at my intrusion. I am called Athanagoras, and am prince of this city. Observing your fleet riding at anchor from the shore, I was attracted by it; and amongst other things, being struck with the superior structure of this vessel, your sailors invited me on board. I inquired for their lord, and they answered that he was overwhelmed with grief. I have therefore ventured hither, in the hope of administering comfort to you, and drawing you once more into the light of joy. I pray God that it may prove so.” Apollonius raised his head. “Whomsoever you are, go in peace. I am unworthy to appear at the banquet; and I do not desire to live.” Perplexed, yet anxious to console the unhappy king, Athanagoras returned upon deck; and despatched a messenger to the pimp, to require the immediate presence of Tharsia, whose musical skill and eloquence, he thought, could not but produce some effect. She came and received instructions from the prince. “If you succeed,” said he, “in softening this royal person's affliction, I will present to you thirty gold sestertia, and as many of silver; moreover, for thirty days, (291>) redeem you from the power of your master.” The girl accordingly prepared herself for the task. Approaching the mourner, “Heaven keep you,” said she, in a low plaintive voice, “and make you happy; a virgin that hath preserved her honour amid her misfortunes salutes you.” She then sang to an instrument, with such a sweet and ravishing melody, that Apollonius was enchanted. Her song related to the fortunes she had experienced, and was to the following effect: — That she fell into the hands of dishonest people, who sought to traffic with her virtue; but that she passed innocent through all her trials. “Thus,” continued she, “the rose is protected by its thorns. They who bore me off beat down the sword of the smiter. I preserved my virtue when attacked by my brutal owner. The wounds of the mind linger, and tears fail. In me behold the only offspring of a royal house. Contain your tears, and limit your anxiety. Look up to heaven, and raise your thoughts above. The Creator and Supporter of mankind is God; nor will He permit the (292>) tears of His virtuous servants to be shed, in vain.” As she concluded, Apollonius fixed his eyes upon the girl, and groaned deeply. “Wretched man that I am,” said he, “how long shall I struggle with my sorrows? But I am grateful for your attentions; and if again permitted to rejoice in the zenith of my power, your memory will support me. You say you are royally descended? — who are your parents? But be gone; here are a hundred gold pieces; take them, and speak to me no more. I am consumed with new afflictions.” The girl received his donation, and would have left the ship; but Athanagoras stopped her. “Whither are you going?” said he; “you have as yet done no good: is your heart so pitiless that you can suffer a man to destroy himself, without striving to prevent it?” "I have done everything that I could,” answered Tharsia: “he gave me a hundred gold pieces, and desired me to depart.”
“I will give you two hundred pieces if you will return the money to him, and say, ‘My lord, I seek your safety, not your money.’ ”
Tharsia complied, and seating herself near to the king, said, “If you are determined to continue in the squalid state to which you have accustomed yourself, give me leave to reason with you. I will propose a question: if you can answer it, I will depart; if not, I will return your present and go.”
“Keep what I have given; I will not deny your request. For though my evils admit of no cure, yet I determine to hearken to you. Put your question, then, and depart.”
“"Hear me; there is a house in a certain part of the world which bounds and rebounds, but it is closed against mankind. This house loudly echoes, but its inhabitant is ever silent; and both — the house and inhabitant — move forward together. Now, if you are a king, as you aver, you should be wiser than I am. Resolve the riddle.” (293>)
“To prove to you that I am no impostor,” said Apollonius, “I will reply. The house which bounds and rebounds and echoes is the wave; the mute inhabitant is a fish, which glides along with its residence.” Tharsia continued, “I am borne rapidly along by the tall daughter of the grove, which equally encloses an innumerable company. I glide over various paths, and leave no footstep.” “When I have answered your questions," said Apollonius, “I will show you much that you know not. Yet I am astonished that one so young should be endowed with wit so keen and penetrating. The tree enclosing a host, and passing through various ways without a trace, is a ship.”
“A person passes through circumferences and temples without injury. There is a great heat in the centre which no one removes. The house is not uncovered, but it suits a naked inhabitant. If you would allay pain, you must enter into fire.”
“I would enter, then, into a bath, where fire is introduced by means of round tables. The covered house suits a naked inhabitant; and he who is naked in this situation will perspire.”
When she had said these and similar things, the girl threw herself before Apollonius, and drawing aside his (294>) hands, embraced him. “Hear,” said she, “the voice of your supplicant: regard a virgin's prayers. It is wicked in men of so much wisdom to destroy themselves. If you lament your lost wife, the mercy of God can restore her to you; if your deceased child, you may yet find her. You ought to live and be glad.” Apollonius, irritated at the girl’s pertinacity, arose and pushed her from him with his foot. She fell and cut her cheek, from which the blood flowed copiously. Terrified at the wound she had received, she burst into tears, and exclaimed, “0 thou eternal Architect of the heavens! look upon my afflictions. Born amid the waves and storms of the ocean, my mother perished in giving life to her daughter. Denied rest even in the grave, she was deposited in a chest, with twenty gold sestertia, and thrown into the sea. But I, unhappy, was delivered by my remaining parent to Stranguilio and Dionysius, with the ornaments befitting a royal extract. I was by them devoted to death; but whilst I invoked the assistance of God, a number of pirates rushed in and the murderer fled. I was brought hither; and in His own good time God will restore me to my father Apollonius.” Here she concluded, and the royal mourner, struck with her relation, shouted with a loud voice, “Merciful God! Thou who lookest over heaven and earth, and revealest that which is hidden, blessed be Thy holy name.” Saying this, he fell into the arms of his daughter. Tenderly he embraced her, and wept aloud for joy. “My best and only child,” said he; “half of my own soul! I shall not die for thy loss. I have found thee, and I wish to live.” Exalting his voice yet more, “Run hither, my servants, my friends! all of ye; my misery is at an end, I have found what I had lost — my child, my only daughter!” Hearing his exclamations, the attendants ran in, and with them the prince Athanagoras. They discovered the enraptured king weeping upon his daughter's neck. “See, see,” said he, “this is she whom I lamented. Half of my soul! now will I live.” Participating in their master's happiness, they all wept.
Apollonius now divested himself of his mourning dress, and attired himself in regal habiliments. “Oh, my lord,” said his followers, “how much your daughter (295>) resembles you! Were there no other guide, that would indicate her birth.” The delighted girl overwhelmed her recovered parent with kisses. “Blessed be God,” cried she, “who has been so gracious to me, and given me to see, and live, and die with you.” Then, entering into a more detailed account of her adventures, she related what she had endured from the wretched pimp, and how the Almighty had protected her.
Athanagoras, fearing lest another might demand her in marriage, threw himself at the king's feet, and modestly intimating how instrumental he had been in promoting their happy reunion, besought him to bestow his child upon him. “I cannot deny you,” returned Apollonius, “for you have alleviated her sorrows, and been the means of my present and future happiness. Take her. But deeply shall that rascal, Leno, feel my vengeance.” Athanagoras immediately returned to the city, and convoked an assembly of the people. “Let not our city perish,” said he, addressing them, “for the crimes of one impious wretch. Know that King Apollonius, the father of the beautiful Tharsia, has arrived. Behold where his navy rides. He threatens us with instant destruction, unless the scoundrel who would have prostituted his daughter be given up to him.” Scarcely had he spoken when the whole population, men and women, hurried off to implore the king's clemency. “I advise you,” said Athanagoras, “to take the wretch with you.” Seizing the execrable man, they tied his hands to his back, and carried him along to the presence of offended majesty. Apollonius, clad in royal robes, his hair shorn, and crowned, ascended the tribunal with his daughter. The citizens stood round, in expectation of his address. “Men of Machylena,” said he, “today I have recovered my daughter, whom that villainous pimp would have corrupted. Neither pity, nor prayers, nor gold could prevail with him to desist from his atrocious purposes. Do ye, therefore, avenge my daughter.” The people, with one voice, answered, “Let him be burnt alive, and his wealth given to the lady.” Instantly the wretch was brought forward and burnt. “I give you (296>) your liberty,” said Tharsia to the overseer, “because, by your kindness and the kindness of the citizens, I remained unsullied. I also present to you two hundred gold sestertia.” Turning to the other girls, she added, “Be free, and forget your past habits.”
Apollonius, again addressing the people, returned them thanks for their kindness to him and his daughter, and bestowed on them a donation of five hundredweight of gold. Shouts and applause followed; and they immediately set about erecting a statue to their benefactor in the midst of the city. Upon the base was the following inscription: —
TO APOLLONIUS OF TYRE, THE PRESERVER OF OUR STATE; AND TO THE MOST HOLY THARSIA, HIS VIRGIN DAUGHTER.
A few days after, the lady was espoused to Athanagoras, amid the universal joy of the city.
Intending to sail with his daughter and son-in-law, and followers to his own country by way of Tharsus, an angel admonished him in a dream to make for Ephesus, and there, entering the temple with his daughter and her husband, relate in a loud voice all the varied turns of fortune to which he had been subject from his earliest youth. Accordingly, he sailed for Ephesus. Leaving his ship, he sought out the temple to which his long-lost wife had retired. “When his wife heard that a certain king had come to the temple with his daughter, she arrayed herself in regal ornaments, and entered with an honourable (297>) escort. The surrounding multitude was much struck with her beauty and modesty, and said there never was so lovely a virgin. Apollonius, however, knew her not; but such was her splendour that he and his companions fell at her feet, almost fancying her to be Diana, the goddess. He placed on the shrine precious gifts, and then, as the angel had ordained, he commenced his history. “I was born,” said he, “a king. I am of Tyre, and my name is Apollonius. I solved the riddle of the impious Antiochus, who sought to slay me as the detector of his wickedness. I fled, and, by the kindness of King Altistrates, was espoused to his daughter. On the death of Antiochus, I hastened with my wife to ascend his throne; but she died on the passage, after giving birth to this my daughter. I deposited her in a chest, with twenty gold sestertia, and committed her to the waves. I placed my daughter under the care of those whose subsequent conduct was base and villainous, and I departed to the higher parts of Egypt. After fourteen years I returned to see my daughter. Tney told me she was dead; and crediting it, I endured the deepest anguish of mind. But my child was at length restored to me.”
As he ended, the daughter of Altistrates sprung towards him, and would have clasped him in her arms. He repelled her with indignation, not supposing that it was his wife. “Oh, my lord!” cried she, weeping, “better half of my soul! why do you use me thus? I am thy wife, the daughter of King Altistrates; and thou art of Tyre; thou art Apollonius, my husband and Iord. Thou wert the beloved one who instructed me. Thou wert the ship-wrecked man whom I loved with pure and fond regard.” Apollonius awakening at the mention of these well-known circumstances, recollected his long-lost lady. He fell upon her neck, and wept for joy. “Blessed be the Most High, who hath restored me my wife and daughter.” “But where,” said she, “is our daughter?” Presenting Tharsia, he replied, “Behold her.” They kissed each other tenderly; and the news of this happy meeting was soon noised abroad through the whole city.
Apollonius again embarked for his own country. Arriving at Antioch, he was crowned, and then hastening (298>) to Tyre, he appointed Athanagoras and his daughter to the rule of this place. Afterwards assembling a large army, he sat down before Tharsus, and commanded Stranguilio and Dionysias to be seized and brought before him. Addressing the Tharsians, he inquired, “Did I ever do an injury to any one of you?” “No, my lord,” answered they; “we are ready to die for you. This statue bears record how you preserved us from death.” “Citizens,” returned Apollonius, “I entrusted my daughter to Stranguilio and his wife: they would not restore her.” “Oh, my lord,” cried the unhappy woman, “thou hast read her fate inscribed on the monument.” The king directed his daughter to come forward; and Tharsia, reproaching her, said, “Hail, woman! Tharsia greets thee; Tharsia returned from the grave.” Dionysias trembled; and the citizens wondered and rejoiced. Tharsia then called the steward. “Theophilus, dost thou know me? Answer distinctly, who employed thee to murder me?”
“My lady Dionysias.”
The citizens, hearing this, dragged both the husband and wife out of the city and stoned them. They would have killed Theophilus also, but Tharsia, interposing, freed him from death. “Unless he had given me time to pray,” she said, “I should not now have been defending him.”
Apollonius tarried here three months, and gave large gifts to the city. Thence sailing to Pentapolis, the old King Altistrates received them with delight. He lived with his son, and daughter, and grandchild, a whole year in happiness. After that, he died, full of years, bequeathing the kingdom to his son and daughter.
As Apollonius walked one day upon the sea-shore, he recollected the kind-hearted fisherman who succoured him after his shipwreck, and he ordered him to be seized and brought to the palace. The poor fisherman, perceiving himself under the escort of a guard of soldiers, expected nothing less than death. He was conducted into the presence of the king, who said, “This is my friend, who helped me after my shipwreck, and showed me the way to the city;” and he gave him to understand that he was Apollonius of Tyre. He then commanded his attendants to carry him two hundred sestertia, with men-servants (299>) and maid-servants. Nor did his kindness stop here — he made him one of his personal attendants, and retained him as long as he lived. Elamitus, who declared to him the intentions of Antiochus, fell at his feet, and said, “My lord, remember thy servant Elamitus.” Apollonius, extending his hand, raised him up, and enriched him. Soon after this a son was born, whom he appointed king in the room of his grandfather, Altistrates.
Apollonius lived with his wife eighty-four years; and ruled the kingdoms of Antioch and Tyre in peace and happiness. He wrote two volumes of his adventures, one of which he laid up in the temple of the Ephesians, and the other in his own library. After death, he went into everlasting life. To which may God, of His infinite mercy, lead us all.